The small dog cannot bear conflict. Tickling, soccer, play-fighting. She's just not having it.
She seems to believe that we should all either get along or keep our G@%^- d!#$% mouths shut and our butts plastered to the couch. Unexpected dashing around the house by any human is liable to get her dander up.
And if, by chance, somebody has to dispatch an insect with a fly-swatter? Katie bar the door. A fly-swatter transforms the small dog into a frantic cartoon Tasmanian Devil, whirling about in a blur, charging the business-end of the swatter. Talk about waging war for the cause of peace.
It's enough to make a person want to research her past: what has made this elderly Boston Terrier so determined to keep the calm? She won't stand for even the implication of violence: smack a palm against anything, and she bows up like a wee tavern brawler preparing to throw down. Do it again, and she'll bark and dash in. A third time, and the hair on her back will stand in a ridge and she'll push her open gap-toothed mouth at the offender.
I know, it's my fault, this bad behavior. No matter how upset, no dog should bite. Still, because of the gum-to-tooth ratio in that face, I found the whole production so comic and ineffectual that I didn't stop her the first time. As I should have.
At twenty pounds of bark and with a mouth that needs to be angled just so in order to gain purchase on anything -- she's not much of a threat.
Of course, it's super-fun to rile her up. I can't deny. I slap my own arm and cry out, "Ouch" on a too-regular basis. Reliably, she bounces around frowning and telling me to "F#$%ing CUT that SH!# out, right NOW!"
She's right: peace is better.